Welcome to our May Newsletter

All being well in less than a month, and with fingers firmly crossed, Covid restrictions will hopefully be well and truly behind us.

With the weather as it has been over the last few weeks, the reopening of indoor hospitality has been a blessed relief to many. Even with social distancing measures in place, it has still allowed a number of establishments to reopen for the first time in many months.

In further good news, it’s great to see the events industry coming out of its enforced hibernation, and we are delighted to be supporting Harrogate International Festivals with the delivery of artist Luke Jerram’s touring Covid memorial, In Memoriam. More details about this stunning display, are included below. It’s well worth a visit.

And finally, our BID Club returns on Thursday, June 3, and hope as many of you as possible will be able to join us from 5.30pm at the Cedar Court’s Tipi on The Stray.

Yours sincerely

Sara Ferguson
BID Chair

BID Supports Harrogate Pubwatch
Harrogate BID has helped an initiative that warns pubs, bars and clubs about trouble-makers drinking in the town, launch a new app.

Harrogate Pubwatch operates under the National Pubwatch guidelines with the emphasis on ensuring everyone entering pubs and clubs can spend their time safely and enjoyably – and if anyone causes trouble in one venue, they will be banned from all venues which participate in the scheme.

Pubwatch now includes more venues to help support the café culture that is emerging as more venues seek to accommodate customers outdoors, and deal with greater visitor numbers.

The new app, which all participating venues will have access to, gives details of all those who are banned from Harrogate’s hospitality venues, and provides live information on anyone causing trouble within the town so that they can be excluded upon trying to gain entry.

It has also launched a Safer Nightlife Campaign, which is designed specifically to combat the sexual harassment of women in its venues. All participating venues will be given training and materials to help them prevent, spot and deal with such behaviour in an appropriate way, and again this will help to make people feel safer in Harrogate’s hospitality venues.

Harrogate Pubwatch Secretary Alan Huddart said: “I’d like to thank both Harrogate BID and North Yorkshire Police for their support in helping Harrogate Pubwatch relaunch after the third national Covid lockdown.

“Pubwatch is a scheme designed to alert all participating venues immediately about any trouble makers, and to ensure those intent on causing trouble, or found committing criminal activity, understand they are not welcome in Harrogate.”

Harrogate BID Manager Matthew Chapman said: “Aims of the BIDs are to make Harrogate safe and welcoming, and to support the town’s night-time economy. Harrogate Pubwatch does both, and that’s why are happy to support them in funding the app.”
BID helps bring touring Covid memorial to town
Harrogate’s West Park Stray is playing host to a visually stunning touring art installation, from award winning artist Luke Jerram.

Measuring 36m in diameter, it features more than 100 flags made from hospital bed sheets arranged in the form of a medical symbol and is designed as a temporary memorial to those we have lost over the last 15 months. In Memoriam is also a tribute to frontline NHS staff and care workers who have constantly put their lives at risk during the ongoing pandemic.

Measuring 36m in diameter, In Memoriam features more than 100 flags made from hospital bed sheets arranged in the form of a medical symbol and is designed as a temporary memorial to those we have lost over the last 15 months. It has also been designed as a tribute to frontline NHS staff and care workers who have constantly put their lives at risk during the ongoing pandemic.

Delivered by Harrogate International Festivals and supported by Hornbeam Park, Harrogate BID and Swainsons Funeral Directors, In Memoriam will be in situ from Friday, May 28 until Monday, June 7.

It is the first in a series of installations and events that Harrogate International Festivals – which this year celebrates its 55th anniversary – will be delivering and producing across the town over the coming months.

Work creating the In Memoriam art installation will begin on Monday, May 24, with it being ‘unveiled’ on the morning of Friday, May 28.

Sharon Canavar, Harrogate International Festivals Chief Executive, said: “We are thrilled that Harrogate is the first Yorkshire destination for this incredible touring art installation by Luke Jerram.

“Covid has impacted on the lives of absolutely everyone around the globe, and Luke has created In Memoriam with a dual purpose.

“Whilst being a temporary memorial to those who have lost their lives from coronavirus, it is also a fitting tribute to the NHS staff and care workers who have put their own lives at risk on a daily basis doing their jobs.”

More empty shop windows ‘wrapped’
Our ‘wellknown windows’ initiative, which is helping smarten up empty shop units, is continuing apace.

The latest premises to benefit include the former Debenhams store on the corner of Oxford Street and Parliament Street, and the former Yorkshire Linen shop on Oxford Street, which features world-famous vet, James Herriot.

On social media, we were recently asked as to why were were showing pictures of these vinyl’s adorning closed shops? The answer is easy – because they are closed!

BID Manager and Deputy Chair Speaking at Chamber Meeting
Harrogate BID Manager, Matthew Chapman, and BID Deputy Chair, Richard Wheeldon, are the guest speakers at June’s meeting of Harrogate District Chamber Of Commerce.

The open meeting, being held via Zoom, is being held at 6pm on Monday, June 7. Richard, who has been with BID since its inception, will give an overview of the organisation, whilst Matthew will share his vision of its future direction.

Harrogate Gift Card scheme
Join the scores of town centre businesses who currenty participate in this scheme, aimed at boosting the local economy. Further information is available from https://harrogategiftcard.co.uk/get-involved/

Join The Club 

Harrogate BID is inviting town centre businesses to its first BID Club of 2021, when owners, managers and their staff can get to get together, mingle, and chat with their peers over a drink and nibbles.

The networking event, which was last held a week before the first Covid lockdown in March, is being staged from 5.30pm on Thursday, June 3, in Cedar Court Hotel’s Tipi on The Stray.

It will also be an opportunity to meet new BID Manager, Matthew Chapman, Chair Sara Ferguson, and other Harrogate BID directors, a number of whom only joined the board at last year’s AGM.

Matthew Chapman said: “I’m really looking forward to our first BID Club in more than 14 months, and getting to meet those whose businesses who help make Harrogate a great place to shop, eat and drink.

“Because the last 12 months have been challenging for every single business, we are opening this BID Club to all town centre businesses, not just levy payers or BID members. The previous BID Clubs were always well attended, and I am sure this will prove equally popular.”

With Covid restrictions still in place, Harrogate BID is asking those who want to attend to register for the event by emailing info@harrogatebid.co.uk

Our Response to the Harrogate Station Gateway Project

Last week, along with Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce and Indepdendent, we issued a joint statement responding to the latest news about the propsed Harrogate Station Gateway Project.

It said: “All three organisations, which between us represent hundreds of town centre businesses, are disappointed that our collective voices have not been listened to.

“In responding to the consultation, we put forward a number of alternative suggestions that we believe will help Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council achieve their objectives, give cyclists dedicated space away from the main A61 Station Parade, assist pedestrians by making changes to the top end of James Street, give priority to buses arriving and leaving the bus station, and protect the interests of town centre retailers.

“We are also strongly of the view the main gateway into the town centre from the bus and railway stations is Cambridge Street, and it is here that Harrogate Borough Council should be fully focussing its attention.

“Two months ago, Councillor Don Mackenzie shared our concerns about reducing Station Parade to one lane, therefore we are pleased to note more design work and further consultation is to be undertaken on this important issue.

“Councillor Phil Ireland says ‘proposals for sustainable alternatives to the car’ have significant support from residents, businesses and visitors alike, yet this is not what we are hearing from the business community, in particular the retailers, many of whom fear what is being proposed will ultimately harm their livelihoods and the town per se.

“Despite many feeling the outcome is already a done deal, we will continue our dialogue with local councillors and officers, as the final outcome will change the face of Harrogate town centre forever.”

Become a voluntary Levy payer
Businesses may not know, but they can become a voluntary levy payer.

The annual cost is £300, and as a voluntary payer they will be entitled to all the benefits of currently afforded to all levy payers, including being able to claim up to £750 in match-funded ‘reopening’ grants.

To find out more, email info@harrogatebid.co.uk
Commerical Street is
Accessible Street
It was fantastic to see Commercial Street feature on BBC Look North this week for its accessibility efforts.

Businesses on the road have been working closely with Harrogate charity, Disability Action Yorkshire, to find out what they can do to make themselves accessible and tap into the ‘Purple Pound’.

The Look North news story can be viewed here:  https://twitter.com/phillipchapman7/status/1397799818857172993